Committees  |   October 2015
Women’s Health Issues
Author Affiliations
  • Lynda Torfreda Wells, M.D., FRCA
    Committee on Occupational Health and Chair, Advisory Group on Physician Health and Wellbeing
Article Information
Obstetric Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Committees
Committees   |   October 2015
Women’s Health Issues
ASA Monitor 10 2015, Vol.79, 60-61.
ASA Monitor 10 2015, Vol.79, 60-61.
When exploring issues of women’s health, the focus is on gynecology, reproduction and breast disease. Global health initiatives indicate that women’s health is a key predictor of childhood, family and community health and well-being. Studies relating to physician health tend to report outcomes by specialty, age, training grade or academic rank rather than by gender. Thus it is difficult to provide a clear picture of health issues that specifically impact female physicians and anesthesiologists in particular. The occupational health literature provides some insights.
A 1998 national study1  comparing the health-related behaviors of female physicians with those of women in comparable and lower socioeconomic groups found that higher socioeconomic status was associated with better health habits in all the domains measured (smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, diet and recommended health screening, e.g., mammography). Among educated, higher-income women, physicians had the best health-related behaviors and lifestyle parameters. This study concluded that the healthful lifestyle choices of female physicians were such that they should act as role models to promote women’s health in the general population.
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